Pentagon officials are reportedly considering terminating the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing project that’s been mired in controversy from the very beginning.
Valued at $10 billion, the JEDI contract was floated to migrate the Pentagon’s computing infrastructure to the cloud. While the contract was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, rival bidder Amazon Web Services secured an injunction to prevent the RedMond-based company from beginning work on the JEDI project.
The cloud arm of the ecommerce giant has dragged Microsoft and the US Defense of Department (DoD) to court alleging that former President Trump unfairly meddled with the JEDI contract.
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“We’re going to have to assess where we are with regard to the ongoing litigation around JEDI and determine what the best path forward is for the department,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks at a recent security conference.
Hicks' comments came just before the recent denial by a US Federal Claim Court on a joint motion by Microsoft and the DoD, to prevent Amazon from being given the opportunity to present its allegations in the court.
In a surprising move, two US lawmakers last week wrote to the US attorney general claiming that Amazon might have violated antitrust laws and federal conflict-of-interest laws in its pursuit of the JEDI contract. Amazon has vehemently denied the allegation.
While the attorney general hasn't yet responded to the calls, any investigation will only further delay the project.
Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal reports that some lawmakers and government-contracting experts contend that JEDI should be scuttled solely because its single-vendor approach is inappropriate and impractical for massive organizations such as the DoD.
Notably, the Pentagon, in a report that was released before the latest court ruling that went against it, had remarked that another Amazon win could have a significant bearing on the future of the project.
Now that the eventuality has come to pass, it appears the Pentagon may be left with little choice but to scrap the entire project.
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